Quick sell or subdivide?

3 Replies

I am semi-inheriting my father's house in Maine. My mother has agreed to sell me the house for $150,000.00 even though it is worth $285,000 with must do repairs completed. It is a 1950's ranch with 10 acres of land. It has approximately 1400 feet of ocean front (tidal river about 5 miles from the top of Penobscot Bay).

The house needs some work even though it has been reasonably maintained.

Must have's
New Septic System

Leaky Basement repair.
Repaint exterior

Should do's
Complete rewire from 100 amp service with tube main breakers to modern 200 amp service.

Replace old 1950's windows that are cheap aluminum balanced or wood channels that have been pained shut, but at the front of the lot near the road in the front corner of the property.

Some options (many more this this probably)

1. Do the must do's and sell.

2. Do the must do's, subdivide the property to X number of lots (3 ocean front lots is the max) and sell each lot.

3. Do a full renovation to make the house price compatible with the level of ocean front houses that might be built on the subdivision so that it does not detract from the Ocean lots. Sell eveything.


Ocean front / river front property is not just something that you want to give away. There was a recent post of someone who cashed out on a property in Maine, making close to 6 figures on the deal only to regret it later.  The biggest challenge is to avoid under selling a great opportunity. I'd look at dividing the property into multiple parcels under covenants and rehabing the house as a rental.  It'll make far more money in the long run then it will in a single sale.

I know the big deals are hard to walk away from but it's best to build a fortune slowly

Hope this helps, best of luck my friend 


who told you it was worth $285,000? Without seeing the property...seems low just on description. Find a way to keep it. This is an appreciating asset FOR SURE! Think of the future, don't make any quick decisions unless your desperate for cash. 

The house is irrelevant by the way, it's all about your location and Penobscot bay values are increasing (look at values in just the last 10-15 years) as our vacationers expand up from Casco Bay (Portland). You have a gem from the sounds of it. Upgrade the house if you need rental income to appeal to out of state renters...and keep a week free for yourself to visit some of the most beautiful coastline in the USA! Good luck

My mother's realtor told me the value.  I have also done research on similar listings.  I have a very good network there since my father was chairman of the planning board.   The folks there  know me very well even though I live 1250 miles away.